About Me

My photo
The name describes my demeanour and voice! I love narrowboating and that is why this blog is mainly about the boat and our interaction with it. I have been keeping a log for Sonflower ever since we bought her and moved onto her as our main residence. Some incidents in our boating life have been hilarious, some scary and some down right dangerous. I cannot tell what will come in the future but you can now share them! The crew are an 'ordinary' couple. The Best Mate and I.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Blustery Day(s)

We would have liked to be boating on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. It is Summer after all. But. . .

The wind has been quite strong and the only place to go for an afternoon cruise is Cropredy. The wind whips across the fields and hits the boat sideways just above Little Boughton lock. A friend of mine found this out as we approached the lock from the north. I got off at Little Boughton Bridge 158 to walk to the lock to set it. After filling the lock and opening the gate I looked back and SONFLOWER was nowhere to be seen! She was pinned against the bank on the outside of the bend by the wind- just out of sight from the lock!

So we watched the clouds scudding across the sky, dreamt of a cruise another day and went for a coffee on our friends' boat as they were moored in town on their way to the Kennet And Avon from Market Harborough. It was a very pleasant visit. We had not been on their (new) boat before and, as with all bespoke boats, it was full of good ideas. The cassette emptying through the back of a hinged bookshelf was particularly impressive. It may re-appear in our bathroom re-design!

We did visit the boat to replenish bedding and check on a few things. The water tank was still full and the bilge empty which is always a good sign. The fridge inventory was checked and the next provisioning list started.

Maybe we will cruise in the sunny near future. After all June starts on Wednesday!

On Thursday we have a planned trip with some youngsters so hopefully the weather will improve.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

A going concern

I told you that I would keep you up to date with All the boaty news. SONFLOWER is now on Sovereign Wharf who have kindly allowed me to moor there to use the electric hook up to run a big vacuum cleaner/aquavac. One small inconvenience of having one's generator stolen is that my inverter is not man enough for really tough tasks.

I could not moor on the Wharf until after closing time(4pm)so while I was waiting I tackled one of the jobs I have been putting off. There was a weep spotted from the seal between the toilet and the holding tank. The fixing bolts were wobbly and closer inspection revealed that the toilet was actually only attached to the tank by one of the four!

So I went to Lee Sanitation yesterday and handed over £30 of my hard gained wonger in return for a genuine Sealand Traveler Seal kit which, thankfully included the bolts nuts and washers.

I had pumped out this morning and Ray at the Wharf had allowed me double the normal allownace of blue so the smell was sufferable as I removed the toilet, cleaned up the flange and refitted the loo with a new seal.

We are fully serviceable again!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Not fast but speedy

SONFLOWER has returned to home mooring.

The crew that brought her home from Rickmansworth left there at 10.30am on Tuesday and were in Banbury yesterday lunchtime. (Sunday) They were at Cropredy overnight on Saturday. They therefore covered 102 miles and 103 locks in five days which means travelling for at least 11 hours a day! and probably in reality nearly dawn to dusk! The crew of three consisted of a rooky helmsman and a young man who had only been on a boat for a couple of days with his school some years back. The 'admiral' absconded for a day as well. I left them at Marsworth Junction on Wednesday evening. I was tired after just two
days at their pace.

Didn't they do well!

They enjoyed every minute! To be out in sunshine and passing through the greenery of Middlesex, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire with peaceful waters beneath the boat was quite a change from London

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Continuous Mooring

The waterways press is still discussing the ways and means of preventing those who oversatay on moorings bringing legitimate 'continuous cruisers' into disrepute. All sorts of charging schemes have been suggested. I feel that those who break their license conditions should be the ones to bear the penalty of their actions, not the rest of us whether holding a home mooring or not.

The subject has been at the front of my mind recently as I wrote a tongue in cheek song to share at the 'boaters entertainment' at IWA Canalway Cavalcade. I wrote "Continuously Cruising" last year and this year I looked for those excuses that turn a continuous cruiser into a continuous moorer.

Here are the lyrics I came up with. Any comment or additional verses considered!

We're one step ahead of the mooring warden
One step ahead of the BW man
One step ahead of the mooring warden
Slowing down as fast as we can

We have reasons aplenty for wanting to stay
Our bird-feeder's here and it's used every day
Feeding finches and sparrows, robin and Jay
We'll fracture the food chain if we go away.

Our cat will get lost if we move on today
We cannot go yet as she's mousing away
In the fields where the farmer is cutting hay
That's our excuse so we've nothing to pay.


Some say we're selfish but how could that be?
We damage no banks and harm nobody
We sit in our boat drinking strong cups of tea
Harmlessly watching our flat-screen tv

Our satellite dish is fixed to a tree
Our coal stock's protected by cctv
Were broken down with no battery
We cannot move! Now don't you see


Making fenders and buttons for people to see
We are waterways traders and I think you'll agree
We've been here so long we've become history
For 200 years our moorings were free.

The hedges and verges here glisten with rain
The daffs that we planted are blooming again
It's nice here and moving is really a pain!
If you see what we mean then join our refrain:


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

We were there!

Proof that we were at Little venice in the Canalway Cavalcade 2011 has appeared on youTube

We are in shot at 0.56, 2.51, and 5.07 Enjoy as we did!

Thank you to photographer SEE LI